This is our 6th year Maple sugaring. And today is the latest we have ever tapped the trees. I know that according to all the books the trees get tapped in March. But for us, here, just south of God's Country, anywhere during early to mid February has been our norm. And then there was the year that I seriously thought about tapping in January.
Today, according to our trees, and the trees are never wrong, I'm early. One tap out of 12 is dripping. Of course I tasted the first sap of the season and the taste bud verdict came back: Not as sweet as last season. Last year the sap was sweet straight out of the trunk. We had a record production of five gallons. We will see what year holds in store for us.
I've been glued to weather.com for weeks; waiting for the temperatures to shift into the 40s during the day and cool to the 20s at night. I would even take some high 30s with a lot of sun. After all trees don't watch the weather channel, nor do they surf the net. Tomorrow it will be warm. The next day warmer and after that, not so warm but sunny.
The taps are in. The buckets are hung. The collection bins cleaned and stacked. The burner and pan stand at the ready. Let the season begin.